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What would you do today if you knew what would happen in 17 years’ time?

business technology, pricing strategyI think I have a relatively contentious point to make: Executives don’t really want to know what the future will be like.

Fortune published a piece by Erin Griffith titled, Selling Stuff Is No Longer the Point of Retail Stores.

The gist of it being that stores must offer ‘brand experiences’. Everybody knows that needs to be addressed. Hardly anyone is succeeding.

Early April 2000, I wrote a piece (for my employer) that among other things said exactly what the Fortune article said in June 2017. Nothing happened.

This post is not about how prescient I am. (Well, only a little.) But truthfully, I did not invent the term ‘shoppertainment’ so that word must have been bandied about by other people. And many of us could see that it is obvious what needs to happen.

The question, is why did executives not respond? Why is this still an issue today? And why do we still not know how to respond? It has been seventeen years…

Just recently I wrote on Inside Retail to (still) address the issue that people don’t understand what ‘experience’ is. And I am not alone. So have many others.

But back in 2000 I wrote this:

“Many shopping centre operators misconstrue shoppertainment to be ‘more movies, more coffee shops or even a bowling alley’. The simple fact is that shoppertainment addresses the consumer’s need to ‘experience’ things. You can only experience so many cappuccinos. What consumers want, is for the shopping trip to be an experience. Entertainment, enlightenment, excitement – call it what you will, but it is about the regular store doing extraordinary things that will constitute an entertaining experience. It means the boring old boutique, insipid stationery store, gormless gift shop will have to find ways of being more entertaining.”

And those shops that were targeted in that quotation still exist today; only now they are under serious, systemic pressure.

It has been seventeen years.

It is true that there many people who freely offer advice, and it is not possible to accept all of it all the time, or to know the good advice from the bad. One claim I bought into (even though it was not my idea originally) was that shopping centres will make more money from charging admission fees than rent – but in my defense I assumed that we would be able to ‘entertain’ the shopper.

DV – If I am alive and writing in 15 years, I will come back to you and ask what have you done about the following (to name a few):

  • Cashless- and Crypto Currency
  • Machine-to-Machine consumption (Internet-of-Things)
  • Mass customisation (markets of one)
  • Disintermediated Supply Chain

The Future is knowable, if you want to know it.

Dennis Price : Co-founder at can be reached on 0411 030 436

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